Helen Clare practising good breathing technique for running

A practice to increase lung capacity

In this second video on focused breathing, I guide you through a counted breathing exercise, where we gradually extend the length of the breath, both on the way in and the way out. I only take you up to a six count in this class, which may or may not feel easy to you. With practice you will be able to lengthen the breath out much longer but just know that you can stay with whatever count feels good for you just now.

Just to make it clear: this is a breathing exercise – not how you breathe when you run!

By incorporating additional breath work into your yoga routine, you will be strengthening the respiratory system and developing your lung capacity, so that when you do run, taking fuller breaths will come more naturally – giving you more oxygen and energy to go further and faster.

When running, breathe through your mouth as you feel the need to. We must get the fresh air in, and the stale air back out. The main thing is to breathe fully, by thinking about breathing into the whole space of the lungs: down into the belly and all the way up to the tops and sides.

How was it for you?! As always, I can’t wait to hear from you.


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Helen Clare

Helen Clare, founder of Helen Clare Yoga and Run Better with Yoga, is a trail runner, senior yoga teacher and yoga for athletes coach, living in Cornwall, UK.

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